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Author Topic: Why do you adore Dark Omen?  (Read 4792 times)
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EvgenS
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« on: January 29, 2016, 02:05:02 PM »

I do not know any other game which would be similar to Dark Omen (and SOTHR ofc). "Wait! But there are also Mark of Chaos and Total War series" you will tell. Yes, they are supposed to be near to Dark Omen(DO). Especially, Mark of Chaos(MOC) which has the same setting, the same RTT genre and the same gameplay concept based on regiment battles. But MOC failed and failed horribly, IMO. Do not take me wrong, MOC is nice-looking game on its own but it fails to replicate this unique gameplay and feel which only Dark Omen has. IMO, the reason of this lies in battle mechanic of DO but I am not 100% sure.
Whatever the reason is in my case I am interested to hear your opinion. After so many years, what makes you to play DO over and over?
setting?
A good story?
Or may be battle mechanics?

Feel free to share your thoughts  Smiley
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illidan
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« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2016, 12:28:43 PM »

ya thats true Mark of Chaos was very disappointing IMO cause the battle map was to big and because there no true ranged battle

also Dark omen is more an arcad game in is fight mecanic
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EvgenS
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« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2016, 03:44:31 PM »

also Dark omen is more an arcad game in is fight mecanic

Did you mean MOC is more arcade or I did not get your point may be.

Btw, found another discussion which clarifies several DO unique battle features really well, IMO
http://forum.dark-omen.org/tactical-wargaming-and-other-warhammer-games/any-other-games-with-some-of-dark-omens-mechanics-t1201.0.html 
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olly
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« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2016, 11:28:23 PM »

Good topic ->
1)True line of sight,
2)Magic and Anti Magic,
3)Flanking bonuses,
4)Hero button interaction, Excellent User Interface
5)Not just CavalryVArchersVPike (paper/rock/stone)
6)Ability to change the course of the Battle by utilising such a wide range of tactics
7)Micro management rather than drag selecting your whole army and Blob attacking, to then sit back to witness the outcome (boring in Dawn of War/Total War/Mark Of Chaos/Battle March which are all great looking games but you shouldn't have time to admire the view, during a proper battle, only on replays).
8 )Random dice throws, Random Wind of Time affecting each battle
9) Beautiful scenery all set in a Warhammer world but would still love the Engine, even if it was set in another time period
10) Multiplayer unspoilt as no building tech tree racing like other RTS games and Single Player allows you to improve your troops' experience throughout the campaign (almost like an RPG story mode)

Now all mod tools are completed, we are busy adding new Races (Dark Elves, Skaven, Dwarfs, Wood Elves) and new 3d heads, up to 19v19 units for Total War sized alternative large scale battles, Banners and new Battle Maps with new scenery, to improve upon an already awesome game.

Smiley
« Last Edit: January 31, 2016, 01:45:52 AM by olly » Logged

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EvgenS
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« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2016, 10:48:26 PM »

Good topic ->
1)True line of sight,
2)Magic and Anti Magic,
3)Flanking bonuses,
4)Hero button interaction, Excellent User Interface
5)Not just CavalryVArchersVPike (paper/rock/stone)
6)Ability to change the course of the Battle by utilising such a wide range of tactics
7)Micro management rather than drag selecting your whole army and Blob attacking, to then sit back to witness the outcome (boring in Dawn of War/Total War/Mark Of Chaos/Battle March which are all great looking games but you shouldn't have time to admire the view, during a proper battle, only on replays).
8 )Random dice throws, Random Wind of Time affecting each battle
9) Beautiful scenery all set in a Warhammer world but would still love the Engine, even if it was set in another time period
10) Multiplayer unspoilt as no building tech tree racing like other RTS games and Single Player allows you to improve your troops' experience throughout the campaign (almost like an RPG story mode)
Thanks for this list, Olly! It clarified some points which I previously thought about but was not 100% sure Smiley


Now all mod tools are completed, we are busy adding new Races (Dark Elves, Skaven, Dwarfs, Wood Elves) and new 3d heads, up to 19v19 units for Total War sized alternative large scale battles, Banners and new Battle Maps with new scenery, to improve upon an already awesome game.
Smiley
19 vs 19 units scale!? Wow!
Did you tuned controls a bit? If not, you should really need to be a badass veteran player to manage so much regiments at once, I guess ))
You made so much for DO already that it almost looks like a sequel! Smiley Hopefully, you will make a real one one day



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Timrath
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« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2016, 11:26:12 AM »

- The graphics.
They're a work of excellent craftshmanship. The fact that they're technologically antiquated doesn't detract from that. With what limited possibilities the technology of 1998 allowed, they managed to produce something that is simultaneously intuitive, colourful and original.
If something is good, it's good regardless of technological standards. Mozart didn't have electric guitars, video clips, autotune and 16 channel mixers, but his music still stands the test of time. Star Wars 1-3 couldn't match Star Wars 4-6, despite all the CGI. The B-52 bomber was built in 1955, but is still in service today.
Mark of Chaos did everything wrong that Dark Omen did right. You can't tell what unit is which, because they all look alike and pass through each other all the time. The scenes aren't pretty, because the designers had no grasp of colour composition. Everything looks like three-days-old vomit. In DO, even bleak enviroments, like Axebite Pass, look beautiful, because they grey palette is composed of saturated shades of grey, enriched with details like green moss and blue waters. In MoC, you always wonder if there's something wrong with your monitor.

- The interface.
Big buttons in DO, that are always there, you always know when you can click them, and you never misclick them.
Tiny buttons in MoC, that are hidden most of the time, don't tell you what they do, and don't always do what they tell you.

- The artwork.
In DO, you find the Horn of Urgok, and then spend 5 minutes in the book, just gazing at the artwork and reading the description. Every item feels special, because it's represented by a distinctive, beautiful icon, and can be admired in full size in the book. You can drag it to equip it to a unit, and the interface makes a satisfying sound when you do that. All this gives you an almost physical sensation, as if you were physically manipulating miniatures.
Compare that to MoC, where items are just generic fantasy objects with no personality and no artwork beside the bland icons.
And then there's the banners. Every unit in DO has its own, and they're all works of art. Not only are they beautiful to look at individually, and visually enrich the battlefield by their combined presence, but they also make it easy to identify the units. MoC just has the same banner for every unit in your army.

- The spoken dialogues.
'Nuff said. Did anyone ever bother to actually read the dialogues in MoC? Not only were they boring as hell, they were also hard to read because of the awkward scrolling and tiny font.
The dialogues in DO are sprinkled with humour and childish boistfulness. They aren't pieces of high literature, but they don't have to. They're simply light-hearted fun.

- The personal connection between you and your units.
Because every unit in DO has its own artistic representation, banner, personality, abilities, mechanics, leader name, leader head and in-battle spoken messages, and because equipping, leveling and replenishing them is such an involved process, you become attached to each and every one of them. It hurts you in the gut when they get decimated. You feel like Santa Claus when you give them a magic item.

- The tactics.
In DO, you have to plan. You have to be careful. You have to coordinate your units and magic.
In MoC, you have to blob rush.

- The loading times.
In DO, it takes 10 seconds from desktop to battle.
In MoC, or any game made in the last 10 years, you have to look at a stupid loading screen for minutes, until you get into the game menu. Then you have to wait again for your savegame to load. Then you go into battle and have to wait even longer for the battle map to load. You finally finish the battle, and now you have to wait for more minutes for the campaign map to load again. It's bullshit like this that prevents me from feeling excited about Total War: Warhammer. Total War is notorious for its long loading screens.
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EvgenS
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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2016, 01:08:50 PM »

Some really nice points out there. These should be putted together in some doc which will outline for developer core concept of the next DO successor game, I guess.
Any developers of our dream here? No? Pity Smiley
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armoured-lemming
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« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2016, 10:51:44 PM »

I remember when I was young and this game had first came out, my step dad had gotten the game for the PC but didn't think much of it, though my uncle that used to babysit me and my younger brother would always play through it, and he was more then happy to let us watch, was surprisingly effective at keeping us quiet.

I watched every night he was there, playing the game, the campaign, he'd always help the Ogres out, used the mortar on the outlaw infantry after charging them up to tie up as many of the orcs and goblins units in one spot, was hilarious!

Even watched him beat the Dread King for the first time, it really was amazing! or at least it was when I watched, and I remember years later when I got my own computer and a chance to play the game myself, the very same CD that I have to this day, the same jewel case and cardboard box, and beating the Dread King myself and telling my uncle.

I'd say the majority of my love for the game was the amount of time I got to spend with my uncle in a time where things where not so great in the family (divorced family troubles so I didn't see much of my dad) and it was nice to just talk while he played, he never talked down to me, at an age where every other adult would, My uncles probably the man I respect the most in my life Smiley

Hearts and feels aside, Dark Omen still holds up where other Warhammer titles have been and gone, Mark of Chaos? the MMO? like dust in the wind to me and a lot of fans but Dark Omen has stood the test of time.
The game is beautiful, Mark Knight did an amazing job on the music (even got to chat with Mr Knight on YouTube some months back, gave him props for DO, DK and a few other classics, really cool guy!) and while its a little simple by todays standards of gaming for a 1998 release its still a blast to play.
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EvgenS
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« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2018, 01:31:33 PM »

https://amp.reddit.com/r/totalwarhammer/comments/7okd3c/my_first_total_war_game_just_finished_the_empire/

run into similar nostalgic threads from time to time about how Dark omen battles were tactically deeper and now fun in contrast with TW large scale battles

I tried to play TW campaigns with capped army stack to 8 units for both player and AI. It was interesting experience

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Ghabry
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« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2018, 10:42:14 AM »

Recently a friend got Ancestors Legacy, the game looked inspired by Total War & co. (but also some very casual base building).

It gets some stuff right, e.g. it has real line of sight, like Dark Omen and a concept of cover (in high grass...). Also night mode which reduces the line of sight, that's also well done. When you charge from the side or the rear you cause extra casualties.

When in Close combat other orders are ignored, thats also good.

There are also indicators for different unit states but they are not as obvious as in Dark Omen where you have this colored arrow (simple but good) instead you have complecated pictograms which have no tooltips, so I still don't know what some of them mean...

At least it has the concept of regiments with banners and formations but there are only 5 different types per nation and there are archers and balistas and even friendly fire by them.

But then the disadvantages start:

- This super useful showing of banners at the scren corner so you know the relative direction is missing.
- All infantry/cavalry units play the same, you usually just attack
- All characters are boring, you don't care about losing troops, death is not permanent. Dark Omen just has the best story telling.
- Usually the best strategy is just spamming as many units as you can have and doing close combat, no tactics needed because there is no reason as in Dark Omen to keep casualties low.
- There is a retreat option but it is never auto-invoked, they all fight until death.
- The archers have no button to hold fire when you give a manual shooting command, you must give a move order to stop them...
- The game runs too fast (or the line of sight is too short). Usually everything is just a mess because 5-10seconds after seeing the enemy close combat already starts, so the archers are in most cases useless because they are in CC before they can shoot twice...


Therefore I would call it "Dark Omen for Casuals". The basic concept is there but they stopped half-way to make it amazing :/.
Maybe I'm too skilled because of my DO-experience, my friend told me he already has problems on Easy and I rushed through the first missions on the highest difficult with no issues...


About the link to reddit:
I agree with this user, I found Total War battles really boring, I never had real tactic in there.
This game can be only so popular because not all know Dark Omen Tongue
« Last Edit: December 21, 2018, 10:50:47 AM by Ghabry » Logged

EvgenS
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« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2018, 01:05:15 PM »

Interesting read. Thanks for the analysis Ghabry!

I've played AL only in the closed beta but experienced same points:
- too fast paced combat to my taste. Even during frontal engagement of defensive units like pikemen
- hard to locate your units especially when you have lots of the same type (displaying binded numbers on mini map would have helped a bit)
- there is a friendly fire but it still feels unnatural. Maybe due to projectile physics dunno

As to the rest I need to try its SP campaign first I guess.
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"- Our steam tank has been damaged, can you help us?
- I'm not a mechanic..."
https://youtu.be/Xg6zzI4BxoU?t=27m6s
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